Sunday, May 15, 2011

Jorge Posada Pulls a Manny Ramirez After Joe Girardi Bats Him Ninth

As soon as I heard the news that not only had Jorge Posada had pulled himself out of the lineup last night, two hours after he got the news that he would be batting ninth, but that he had reportedly thrown a fit over the situation, another player came to mind -- Manny Ramirez. And it wasn't exactly a positive comparison.

Remember in late July 2008, when Manny asked out of the lineup before the start of a Yankees-Red Sox series? He claimed his knee was bothering, then couldn't seem to remember which knee it was that hurting? The Red Sox ran MRIs on both knees that night, found nothing, and traded him to the Dodgers a few weeks later.

Granted, Posada doesn't have Manny's track record, but he quit on his team last night, before a Yankees-Red Sox game, because his ego couldn't take the humiliation of being batted ninth. And it's just as unacceptable, in my view, as what Ramirez pulled that time. Sorry, Yankee fans, but it's true. 

And here's another comparison to make your skin crawl -- what is the difference between Posada glowering on the bench last night, and Nomar Garciaparra glowering on the bench in the July 1, 2004 "Jeter dives into the stands" game? 

On the other hand, I don't remember A-Rod throwing a "hissy fit," as Jack Curry said a Yankee official told him Posada did, after Joe Torre humiliated him by batting him eighth in the 2006 ALDS. Or begging out of the game, either.

Anyhow, Squawker Jon and I were hoping a reporter would ask Posada, "Where do you think a batter with a .165 average should hit in the lineup, Jorge?" Because frankly, Posada should have been moved down weeks ago. He hasn't hit a homer since April 23. Since then, he is nine for his last 62. He doesn't have a single hit against left-handed pitchers this year. 

Yet despite all the deference Girardi has shown him (he only had him bat eighth once this year), it still wasn't enough. Posada pulls the "disrespected" act last night and had about five different reasons why he didn't play.  I haven't heard so many lame excuses thrown out at once since John Belushi's "Blues Brother" character rattled off all the reasons he stood up Carrie Fisher's character at their wedding! Oh, and Posada had to get his wife -- and his father -- running interference for him. Please. Posada needs a mental health day before Yankees-Red Sox? Are you flipping kidding me?

The thing is, Posada has always gotten away with a bit of an inflated opinion of himself. Even though he wasn't really part of the 1996 championship team (he only played four games that season), he still gets the credit for that ring. As Squawker Jon always sez, Georgie is the Ringo Starr of the Core Four, without the self-deprecating personality. Has there ever been a catcher who has fought with as many pitchers? Roger Clemens. Andy Pettitte. Orlando Hernandez.  Randy Johnson. Mike Mussina. A.J. Burnett, etc. etc. But the Yankees (mostly) put up with Posada pulling the diva act behind the plate, because of his bat. Now he can't hit, and he can't catch anymore, although he still thinks he's aces at both.

And, thanks to Omar Minaya taking Georgie to that Le Cirque lunch in 2007, and the Yanks giving him a fourth year on his contract afterwards, Posada's got 13 million reasons this year to put on a happy face.

Here's what Jorge Posada should have said last night, instead of throwing daggers at Brian Cashman about having the nerve to tell the media that he begged out of the game, and insinuating that Girardi disrespected him:

"It's been a frustrating season, and I let my ego get the best of me. This is unacceptable, and the Yankees have the right to be angry over me begging out of the lineup. I had my wife spin this 'back spasms' story because I panicked over how I would look after Cashman said I asked out of the game. I'm angry with myself for missing the big picture, and putting my ego above the team. I am deeply sorry, and this will never happen again."

My first thought last night, when I heard that Posada had asked out of the game, but before the hissy fit details came out, was that he was going to retire. Come to think of it, maybe Posada ought to think about doing that now, and leave with at least a shred of dignity, before playing out the year griping about how he's being disrespected.

What do you think? Tell us about it!


BrooklynGirl said...

+1 to your post Lisa. If Jorge was Cervelli or Martin, he would have been sitting the pine or at least platooning a couple of weeks ago. I just don't get it when people have been saying that he's having "a hard time" adjusting to not catching and that this is hurting him at the plate. Really? It didn't hurt Edgar Martinez when he became a full-time DH. He's had the whole off season to deal with this. Like Tim McCarver and Joe Buck (two guys I RARELY agree with)said last night "baseball is becoming a young mans game". If Jorge can't deal with being a part-time player (while making $13M to do so) then maybe he should hang em up.

mhochman said...

I think its more of a Derek "Operation Shutdown" Bell moment than a Manny....

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